This past week my husband was out of town, so I had some extra time to do some research on this Gospel called John. The study was incredible, and I learned so much I’d never known in all my years as a Christ follower. Isn’t that one of the greatest attributes of our God…that we never reach the end of Him, never reach the depths of His infinite details, and never ceased to be amazed at who He is?
This Monday we will launch our new summer series, our Red Letter Summer. If you haven’t already signed up, simply hit the “Email Subscription” link to your right, enter your email address, and have each week’s study dropped into your inbox.
Earlier in our Intro Week we looked at the man who wrote our text, the Apostle John. John was an eye-witness to the life of Jesus and gives us a perspective like nobody else ever could. If you missed it, check it out here. Today, we’ll look at what makes the book of John different from the rest.
Part 2: What makes the Gospel of John so unique?
What is a gospel? The four books of the Bible that specifically relate the life and ministry of Jesus are referred to as the Gospels. According to Webster, it is “the message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation”. In short, it’s the good news of Jesus Christ. And because there are four different Gospels written by four very different men, they collectively weave together a beautiful account of our Savior, allowing us to know Him better, who He is and all He has done for us.
What are the Synoptic Gospels? The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are often referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they hold many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, with similar wording. The Greek word “synoptic” means “together”, and optic means “seen”. John is not included in this group because much of its text, events, and conversations are unique to itself.
What’s different about John?
- It was the last Gospel written, approximately 90 A.D.
- John most likely wrote his Gospel for Jewish Christians living abroad in the Mediterranean world
- It’s the only Gospel that records Jesus’ miracle at the wedding in Cana, His visit with Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead
- It contains no parables or casting out of demons
- Jesus speaks more often of the relationship of the Son to the Father and is more forthright about His divinity than in the other Gospels
“New Christians often turn to the book of John because it spells out so clearly the basics of the faith. Jesus proves who He is, diagnoses humanity’s problems, and bluntly describes what is necessary for conversion. You will likely recognize familiar verses and phrases in this book (such as Jesus’ “I am” sayings).
“God was a mystery until He broke His silence. He spoke once, and all creation sprang to life. He spoke again, says John, and this time the Word took the form of a man, Jesus Christ. John’s book tells the story of that Word who became flesh.” – Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford
There are SO many interesting and historical facts about John and the Gospels. Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written on the topic by people much smarter than I, and I encourage you to follow up on and research any areas you may not understand.
Are you ready? So many women have written to me already, excited to read this Gospel, (some for the first time), to examine the words of Jesus, and to listen. Listen to the words He said, and then ask how those words can impact our lives today. I am thankful for you, you are being prayed for by myself and by our pastors’ wives. We are grateful and thrilled to be on this journey together with you.
See you Monday!
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